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Gangnam Style

June 26, 2017

Seoul has continued to invest in new urban rail lines since the 1988 Olympics, expanding the network to 9 lines, carrying just under 3 billion passengers a year. Slightly shorter and not as busy as London's Underground network. Seoul is also being linked to surrounding cities with a growing high speed rail network.

Gangnam District, one of the 25 local districts that make up South Korea's capital city Seoul, is to benefit from a huge investment in public transport infrastructure. Gangnam translates as 'South of the River' and the district is adjacent to the 1988 Summer Olympics site. The city has continued to invest in new urban rail lines since the Olympics, expanding the network to 9 lines, which carry just under 3 billion passengers a year. So, it's a bit shorter and not as busy as London's Underground network. Seoul is also being linked to surrounding cities with a growing high speed rail network. 

The city authorities have launched an international design competition, to generate ideas and proposals for a new 6 level multi-purpose development which will have a total area that's similar to Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre, around 160,000m2. The transport hub will serve 2 high speed rail lines and 4 metro lines, as well as providing connections to other transport modes at street level.

The high speed rail stations won't be terminus stations, so the space required is much reduced, because the number of platforms required is much lower for through running. The key difference between the “Gangnam style” and our default approach in the UK; the high speed railway will be underground and the box will contain a significant amount of non-transport development, including cultural, leisure and tourism uses. The underground mixed-use box approach will deliver a significant level of land use density, which will enjoy fantastic levels of transport accessibility. That's real Transport Orientated Development. 

The Queen's speech on 21 June 2017 didn't make any reference to the Crossrail 2 scheme and that's a real concern; it now looks likely that we will have HS2 serving Euston Station, without Crossrail 2. All stakeholders agree that Crossrail 2 is required to provide the required onward travel capacity from Euston station, because the existing lines are already at capacity. Should we be building the HS2 terminus at Old Oak Common, stopping services there? The Elizabeth line and London Overground services will provide the good connections into Central London required and it would save billions of pounds. These savings could be allocated to an upgrade of the existing Euston main line station, perhaps taking some inspiration from South East Asia, seeking to maximise the commercial development within and above the station box, whilst also making future provision for Crossrail 2 at a deep level and constructing the long awaited pedestrian link to Euston Square Station.

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